Model-based Assessment of f-Wave Signal Quality in Patients with Atrial Fibrillation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective: The detection and analysis of atrial fibrillation (AF) in the ECG is greatly influenced by signal quality. The present study proposes and evaluates a model-based f-wave signal quality index (SQI), denoted S, for use in the QRST-cancelled ECG signal. Methods: S is computed using a harmonic f-wave model, allowing for variation in frequency and amplitude. The properties of S are evaluated on both f-waves and P-waves using 378 12-lead ECGs, 1875 single-lead ECGs, and simulated signals. Results: S decreases monotonically when noise is added to f-wave signals, even for noise which overlaps spectrally with f-waves. Moreover, S is shown to be closely associated with the accuracy of AF frequency estimation, where S>0.3 implies accurate estimation. When S is used as a measure of f-wave presence, AF detection performance improves: the sensitivity increases from 97.0% to 98.1% and the specificity increases from 97.4% to 97.8% when compared to the reference detector. Conclusion: The proposed SQI represents a novel approach to assessing f-wave signal quality, as well as to determining whether f-waves are present. Significance: The use of S improves the detection of AF and benefits the analysis of noisy ECGs.


External organisations
  • Kaunas University of Technology
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Biomedical Laboratory Science/Technology


  • AF detection, Atrial fibrillation (AF), Computational modeling, Detectors, ECG, Electrocardiography, Estimation, f-wave modeling, Frequency estimation, Harmonic analysis, Indexes, signal quality index (SQI)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2600-2611
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Issue number11
Early online date2018 Feb 27
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Publication categoryResearch

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